The auditor from the gas company came last week and conducted an audit of the house. I was pretty sure I'd learn something - and probably get scolded for using the fireplace nearly 24/7 during the winter.
The results blew my mind.
I had to schedule this eons ago, and was surprised the guy still showed up - right on time, too. Odd on all accounts to start.
He started with a sheet of questions, and I was sure the scolding was coming at any minute. He needed to know how many loads of laundry and dishes, and at what temperature. I answered his questions, he didn't judge or scold, just moved to the next question. After a few more questions, he started examining the house.
Now, I don't know if this guy was a gem, or if they're all like this, but I was floored at how well he explained things to me (without making me feel like an idiot). We've been in this house for 4 years, and I had no idea our front door had two stages of closed - kinda-closed-kids-can't-get-out-but-still-locks and holy-crap-its-super-tight-no-air-is-getting-in-here-ever.
He also showed me how to examine our doors (with all the lights off inside, lights or sun on outside) anywhere you can see light - cold/hot/unwanted air is coming in! The BEST weatherstripping is at lumber yards, and it's only FIVE BUCKS a strip. I'm sure there's a fancy name for it - and I'll find out, when I pick it up - it's thick, and fat, and NOT THE KIND that comes in a lollipop flat roll with adhesive on the back.
There are also tiny little wedges that can go at the bottom, by the threshold to fill any gaps there.
OH! Such good stuff!
Attic insulation - good - because we had it done a couple years ago.
Windows - great - vinyl, double pane
Fireplace - (oh no - here it comes....) GREAT! By using the fireplace I use LESS GAS. I'm sure smart people (Rockstar) already knew that, but I was so worried I'd have to give it up. Nope - Rock on, little fireplace.
Appliances - not worth upgrading to energy efficient - it would take nearly a decade to recoup the costs. WHEN they break, worth the extra couple bucks for energystar decal.
Insulate the furnace room! The key to a furnace room is to retain all the cold air IN the room. Mine sits in the center of the basement, with living space on all sides. By not having the interior walls of the furnace room insulated, all the cold air leaks from the room - causing the furnace/air conditioner to work harder to pull MORE cold air in, AND in the winter, by having to heat those rooms twice.
Crazy great tips!
I would absolutely suggest it... I learned a TON. (and it was free :)